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Tag: one-night tournament

On This Day in MMA History: The UFC Holds Its First (and Last) Ever 16-Man Tournament at UFC 2: No Way Out

On This Day in MMA History” pays tribute to some of the more bizarre and infamous moments from MMA’s past. Twenty years ago today (!), on March 11th, 1994, the UFC held the only 16-man, one-night tournament in promotional history at UFC 2. It was…epic to say the least. 

No weight classes, no time limits, no judges, and up to four fights in one night. Yes, the early nineties truly were a time when men were men. That was at least according to the rules of UFC 2: No Way Out, which somehow managed to up the ante from the promotion’s first event the previous November.

Taking place on the evening of March 11th, 1994, UFC 2 pitted previous tournament contestants Patrick Smith, Jason Delucia, and UFC 1 winner Royce Gracie against a gaggle of unknowns in what would become the promotion’s first and last ever sixteen-man, one-night tournament.

As expected, the tournament served as little more than an informercial for the superiority of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu once again. In just over 9 minutes of total fight time, Gracie dominated Minoki Ichihara, Delucia, Remco Pardoel, and Morris to claim his second straight tournament victory. Being that the UFC has long since abandoned the one-night tournament format due to safety concerns, Royce’s four victories at UFC 2 stands as a record that will likely never be broken in the UFC.

But aside from providing us with the biggest tournament in promotional history, we also have UFC 2 to thank for:

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PRIDE Neva Die: Kenny Monday’s Oklahoma-Based MMA Promotion Bringing Back Eight-Man, One-Night Tournaments


(Part 1 of Igor Vovchanchyn‘s legendary one-night performance in the 1996 Mr. Powerman tournament. Parts 2 and 3 are after the jump.)

(*fans self off with both hands*)

You guys, I don’t want to pull a Danga and curse this thing by simply mentioning it, but there’s a fairly good possibility that we will see the return of the eight-man, one-night tournament in the near future. Specifically, June 27th at the BOK Center in Tulsa. CALM DOWN, GOD DAMMIT. You’re going to blow it!!

Here’s why we shouldn’t immediately dismiss this gift handed down from the heavens as a manipulative, freakshow marketing attempt being made by some obviously struggling promotion (ala the man vs. woman fight in Shooto or Gina Carano in the UFC. Zing!). For starters, the promotion in question is Battlegrounds MMA, the Oklahoma-based promotion of which former Olympian Kenny Monday is the president. Secondly, former Strikeforce matchmaker Rich Chou is on board as the tournament matchmaker. Thirdly, the promotion has already been granted the go-ahead by the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission, following Battlegrounds managing partner Bryan O’Rourke’s petition to slightly modify the rules passed unanimously.

Read up on the special stipulations for the tournament after the jump, then try not to destroy your computer while thrash dancing in your cubicle.

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